The Redfly supports the connection of Windows Mobile 5 and 6 phones in both standard and professional guises – and though the list of officially supported phones is short, I managed to hook up phones not on the list without experiencing any issues.
But this isn’t the best thought out device, and in many ways it’s afflicted by the same problems as the ill-fated Foleo. Celio likes to point out that the lack of storage, software licensing costs and maintenance that comes with a Redfly makes it attractive as a business tool, but it still feels overpriced to me. At £310 it’s more than £100 more expensive than the much more capable Eee PC 701 4G. There are no audio facilities (no headphone jack or speakers) and it won’t play video on its 8in screen, so you can forget about using it to entertain yourself during long, tedious journeys. And though using the Redfly with a smartphone such as the TyTN II is fine for word processing and email, when it comes to browsing the web it’s not such a joy to use.
Loading up pages with Opera Mini or Minimo is quick enough, but try to scroll up and down and you’ll soon become frustrated. It seems that the Redfly’s USB connection just isn’t quick enough to keep up – just clicking on a scroll bar results in a noticeable delay before the page responds and it was the same with Google Maps. Connecting to a phone with a more powerful processor than the 400MHz unit in the TyTN II seemed to help, as did moving to Pocket IE (a terrible thing to have to do), but it was still far from nippy. That’s a huge disappointment, especially considering that one of the key advantages of having a larger screen than your Windows Mobile handset is to make browsing the web a more comfortable experience.
It isn’t compatible with 100 per cent of mobile apps I tried either. Though Office Mobile worked fine, as did all the standard Microsoft apps and tools, the Redfly didn’t get on with SPB Mobile Shell’s fancy graphics – it caused an Out of memory error to be generated – and Opera Mobile 9.5 failed to work too. Even some of Windows Mobile’s own screens failed to display correctly – the Home screen on my TyTN II was missing its text.